Episodes

EPISODE 1: Biking

Downhill Mountain Biking is bringing Aboriginal people back to their ancestral British Columbia territory in new ways. This episode features Brianna Kelly, a 16-year-old who can shred like the pros, on her journey to the Silver Star Downhill B.C. Cup with her coach and mentor, Jay Bearhead.

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We also meet Tom Eustache, a trailblazer who has pioneered the building of professional biking trails and clubs for his community.
DIRECTOR: Michelle Smith
EDITOR: Meiyen Chan

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EPISODE 2. Lacrosse

The ancient game of Lacrosse has gained popularity through the years with more teams and regions joining the sport. Kallen Currie of Mistawasis First Nation in Saskatchewan is an aspiring lacrosse athlete who is given a chance to compete at the World Junior Lacrosse Championship.

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This episode also profiles legendary lacrosse player, Gaylord Powless of Six Nations of the Grand River, whose career contributed to the sport’s renown in Canada, and former international lacrosse champion, Cam Bomberry, a mentor to youth and tireless promoter of the sport.
DIRECTOR: Paul Rickard
EDITOR: David Stonier

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EPIDSODE 3. Football

Football is one of Canada’s mainstream sports. Despite the vast distances between communities, the sport has found its way into many First Nations schools in northern Saskatchewan. We follow Dray Tinker and the Pinehouse Lake school football team as they compete with other schools in Six-A-Side football.

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We tell the little-known story of Aboriginal role model Jack Jacobs and of the mark he made on the sport, as well as that of Josh Sacobie, a native from New Brunswick and a coach for the Carleton University Ravens football team in Ottawa.
DIRECTOR: Paul Rickard
EDITOR: Jesse Bochner

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EPISODE 4. Boxing

This episode features the accomplishments of two dynamic women making their mark in the traditionally male world of boxing. Winnipeg resident Kenzie Wilson, of the Cross Lake First Nation in Northern Manitoba, talks about the hard work and perseverance that got her through hard times.

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Olympic Boxer Mary Spencer also talks about what it takes to succeed in this difficult sport, and we follow her as she trains and mentors youth in the First Nation community of Kashechewan in northern Ontario. The Sinclair brothers look back on their father, trailblazer Sam Sinclair, who fought and boxed in the war, and later became a community leader for the Metis Nation.
DIRECTOR: Courtney Montour
EDITOR: Jesse Bochner

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EPISODE 5. Volleyball

Volleyball is a sport well recognized by First Nations communities. This episode follows the Walkingbear family of Thunderchild First Nation in Saskatchewan, who started their own community-based volleyball club, which has produced highly trained players and elite volleyball athletes.

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Founder Winston Walkingbear is the knowledge giver and head coach, Thundersky Walkingbear wants to play at the highest-level, and Savana Walkingbear is the trailblazer, who paved the way for his little brothers and other team members to become successful athletes in the sport.
DIRECTOR: Paul Rickard
EDITOR: Jesse Bochner

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EPISODE 6. Salish Canoeing

Canoeing has been a part of the West Coast First Nations cultures throughout the centuries. Today, canoe families train and spend their summers travelling up and down the coast of B.C. competing in races.

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In this episode, we meet members of Cowichan Tribes First Nation, including master traditional dugout canoe carver Jedson August. Kevin Paige, a former racer who now runs the community’s canoe club and coordinates canoeing events, mentors his daughter Janelle, a paddler and competitive racer. Elder ‘Luschiim’ Arvid Charlie, speaks about his life with the canoes and his trailblazing role in keeping this ancient tradition very much alive.
DIRECTOR: Courtney Montour
EDITOR: James Malloch

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EPISODE 7. Basketball

Basketball in Canada is an affordable sport and a good way for Indigenous youth to have fun together and trace themselves a better path in life. Near Kenora, Ontario, Tania Cameron runs a basketball program that has been successful in increasing youth involvement and driving the sport’s popularity.

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In Winnipeg, the Anishinabe Pride Basketball Club, created by Jackie Anderson and her husband to help inner city youth to lead a better life, is testimony to the couple’s dedication and to the participants’ enthusiasm for the sport. Trailblazer Michael Linklater, a 3x3 basketball player, speaks about his life with the sport and initiatives to bring his basketball program to First Nation communities.
DIRECTOR: Paul Rickard
EDITOR: James Malloch

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EPISODE 8. Soccer

Cowichan Tribes is the largest First Nations community in British Columbia and its soccer athletes have travelled the world playing this sport. This episode follows veteran player, Dano Thorne, as he coaches young athletes and talks about NIFA, the Native Indian Soccer Association, which provides training and opportunities for indigenous players.

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We meet Tammy Jack, her family, and other members of the community while they play and tell stories of their soccer accomplishments. This episode also features Harry Manson, a superior player who faced discrimination and racism over a century ago, but still blazed the trail for younger generations to compete in soccer.
DIRECTOR: Courtney Montour
EDITOR: James Malloch

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EPISODE 9. Kayaking

This episode dives into the competitive sport of Sprint Kayaking. James Lavallée, a Metis from Winnipeg, is a kayaker who has been competing for years and is now ready to qualify in the Olympics for Team Canada. Cathy Rice from Kahnawake is a mentor to many in her work at the Onake Paddling Club. She speaks about her connection with the sport and with Mother Nature.

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1984 Olympic gold medalist Alwyn Morris, talks about his journey and what it takes to get to the highest level of sprint kayaking.
DIRECTOR: Jeff Dorn
EDITOR: Meiyen Chan

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EPISODE 10. Wrestling

Twin brothers Thomas and Philip Barreiro of Akwesasne are Greco-Roman style wrestlers who are on their way to qualify for the 2020 Olympics. Tara Hedican, the first indigenous woman to win a World Junior Wrestling Championship,

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travels to Kahnawake to hold a workshop and speak with the young wrestling team about her journey in this sport. Amateur wrestlers Judy Russell and Kendra Cheers get their chance to compete at the North American Indigenous Games.
DIRECTOR: Margaret Horn
EDITOR: Jesse Bochner

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EPISODE 11. Long Distance Running

The running event called the Mamu Marathon is held every year in the small community of Uashat and the town of Sept-Iles, Quebec. We follow Byron ‘Geronimo’ Michel as he reflects on his life, trains, and sprints to the finish line.

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His mentor, Roger Vachon, is the founder of the Mamu Marathon and has battled issues that gave him the determination to make a change. Stanley Vollant, the first Aboriginal surgeon in Quebec, has walked thousands of miles through First Nations territories, inspired by his ancestors’ nomadic ways to walk with his people and to promote healthy lifestyles.
DIRECTOR: Felix Atencio Gonzáles
EDITOR: Meiyen Chan

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EPISODE 12. Arctic Sports

The Arctic Winter Games is an international celebration of circumpolar sports and indigenous culture, showcasing traditional Arctic and modern athletics. We join young athletes, Emily King, Matthew Jacobson, and Kuduat Shorty of Team Yukon,

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as they compete and recount what they aspire to in these circumpolar Olympics. Arctic Games official Donald Kuptana, speaks about the history of the sport and what it means to be a part of it. Trailblazer Johnny Issaluk has competed for many years, making his mark as an athlete, a mentor to youth, and as an actor.
DIRECTOR: Jeff Dorn
EDITOR: James Malloch

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EPISODE 13. Speedskating

In the Nunavut town of Iqaluit, a small group of determined athletes push themselves to the limit in speedskating. This episode profiles the young skaters Rosalie Demaio, Emma Carpenter, and Akutaq Williamson Bathory, of Team Nunavut, led by former competitive skater Kyle St. Laurent, as they train, prepare themselves for, and compete in the Arctic Winter Games.

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Trailblazer John Maurice talks about how he was able to bring the sport to Iqaluit and the impact it has had on the community.
DIRECTOR: Asinnajaq
EDITOR: Meiyen Chan

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Video Game

First Across The Line is a competitive digital card game that focuses on the importance of Indigenous athletes in a variety of sports. Compete head-to-head against others in Multiplayer, the computer, or in Single-Player, to be the first to gain the most points and win.

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The TV series, ”First Across the Line”, will feature up and coming First Nation athletes, Mentors, and Trailblazers of the past and present that helped pave the way for younger generations to strive in the world of sports. All characters found in the game will feature their Bios and sport of choice, and will also be showcased in the series. The card game is simple, short, and fun that can be played by all ages and skill level. The game is available to download on all mobile platforms on Andorid and iOS.

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Production Team

Mushkeg Productions Inc. is an Indigenous production company specializing in films and videos about the Indigenous experience, films that deal with contemporary issues facing Canada’s First Nations, their environment, activities, traditions and their struggle for economic and political autonomy. The company is headed by Paul M. Rickard, independent Cree filmmaker and cameraman. Paul’s partner is veteran producer and director George Hargrave. Mohawk Ironworkers is their fourth series for APTN.

Paul Richard
Director/Producer

Paul Rickard is an Omuskego Cree from Moose Factory in Northern Ontario. For the past 25 years, he has been working as a producer, director and cameraman in collaboration with independent production companies and organizations such as Nutaaq Media Inc.,

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Wawatay Native Communications Society, CBC North and the National Film Board of Canada. Paul directed the award winning NFB film “Okimah”, and worked on numerous other documentaries through his own production company Mushkeg Media Inc. that includes “Finding Our Talk: A Journey into Aboriginal Languages”, “Little Caughnawaga: To Brookyln and Back”, “Kanien’keha:ka: Living the Language”, “Aboriginal Architecture, Living Architecture” and “Ring of Fire”.

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Courtney Montour
Writer/Director

Courtney Montour is Mohawk from Kahnawake. She works in the documentary film and digital media fields exploring issues of Indigenous identity. Her first feature documentary “Sex Spirit Strength’ (2015), premiered on APTN and won two awards at the 2016 Yorkton Film Festival, including Best of Fest.

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She has also directed episodes for several documentary series including ‘Mohawk Ironworkers” (2016), “Working It Out Together” (2016), and “Dream Big” (2015). She currently coordinates McGill University’s Indigenous Field Studies course, held in Kahnawake.

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George Hargrave
Producer

George has been an independent producer and director for over 25 years. He went to the North Pole in 1987 and has been an admirer of all things northern ever since. He and his production partner Paul Rickard launched Mushkeg Media to tell stories about the north and the people who live there.

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They have made documentaries about language, culture, architecture, beer people, chocolate, power dams, education, sexual abuse, health, history, and now indigenous athletes.

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Michelle Smith
Writer/Director

Michelle Smith is a Métis filmmaker, media artist and educator. She uses diverse media to explore issues around indigenous identity, cultural continuity and decolonizing practices. Her documentary work includes “Working it Out Together 3” (2016) and the Aboriginal language series “Finding our Talk” (2010); feature docs “determiNATION songs” (2009) and “Turbulent Waters” (2004), experimental film “Buried Traces” (2010), and “It was a Woman” (2013).

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Digital media projects include www.OtaNdaYanaan.net, an interactive documentary celebrating Métis language and culture and work-in-progress “Niska”, a video game about the Cree goose hunt. She teaches Communications at Dawson and John Abbott Colleges in Montreal, and coordinates the Dawson College Journeys program for Indigenous students.

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Margaret Horn
Writer/Director

Margaret Horn is Mohawk from Kahnawake, Bear Clan. She was executive producer for documentaries, “Our Nation’s Elders Speak” and “Diabetes & Aging”, “Keepers of the Earth: Women and HIV/AIDS”, exercise video “Spirit in Motion” (shown on APTN) and “Coming Full Circle”, teaching health workers gentle exercises for the elderly.

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In 2006 she produced a six-minute Spirit of the Land video to promote tourism in Canada that was premiered before 1200 international tourism operators at RendezVous Canada. She is semi-retired and spends time between Kahnawake and the Adirondacks – the traditionnal homeland of her nation.

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Jeff Dorn
Writer/Director

Jeff Dorn has been making Documentaries for over 25 years. The images and stories he has collected have won numerous accolades and awards. Jeff’s core value is to the truth of a story and how sharing social political narrative of a subject’s reality can spark discussion with the hope of enforcing a positive change.

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An interesting coffee table discussion often holds the key to a solid tale. Listening to a subject’s story is essential to great films and Dorn’s work has embodied this notion creating compassionate thought provoking films.

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Eric LeMoyne
Composer/Mixer

Eric was thrilled to handle both the music composing and sound mixing duties for this series, reprising his roles for Mushkeg’s series “Finding Our Talk”. Recent projects in music include CBC’s documentary feature “Newfoundland at Armageddon”; DocZone’s “Deluged by Data”; NatGeo’s hit series “Scam City” as well as the most recent installment of Danish movie series “My Sister’s Kids”.

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Notable among mixing projects are ongoing 3D-animated series “ICI-Laflaque” and Explora’s “On s’aime en chien”.

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Asinnajaq
Writer/Director

Asinnajaq, also known as Isabella Weetaluktuk, is a filmmaker and artist whose work is fuelled by respect for human rights, a desire to explore her Inuit heritage, and a sense of wonder in what she calls “the abundant beauty of the world”.

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The daughter of filmmaker Jobie Weetaluktuk and university professor Carol Rowan, she was a teenager when she assisted her father on Timuti (2012), a film he made in Inukjuak, home of their extended family. She later studied cinema at NSCAD University in Halifax, and her short film Upinnaqusittik (Lucky) (2016) premiered at iNuit Blanche, the first ever circumpolar arts festival in St. John’s. Her first film with the National Film Board of Canada, the 12-minute-long “Three Thousand” (2017), combines historic footage of Inuit, selected from the NFB’s archive, and original animation.

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Felix Atencio-Gonzales
Writer/Director

Felix Atencio-Gonzales, a Quechwa native from Peru, immigrated to Canada over 20 years ago. He lives in Listuguj, Quebec where he works as a journalist, translator and community organizer. Felix has directed episodes for the television series, “Eastern Tide”, about Canada’s Aboriginal people, with an emphasis on the Mi’gmaq, as well as several episodes of the Mushkeg produced series, “Finding Our Talk”.

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His film, “Mama Coca: The Sacred Leaf”, about the sacred and medicinal uses of the coca plant, was winner of the Planet in Focus Mark Haslam Award (2008). In 2014, he wrote, shot and edited a documentary about the cultural, social and spiritual relationship of the Mi’gmaq people of Listuguj and the salmon, commissioned by Gespe’gewaq Mi’gmaq Resource Center in Listuguj. In 2015-16, he was the researcher, soundman and translator on the APTN/Knowledge network series “Connected”, produced by Productions Vic Pelletier. The series was about indigenous peoples in Peru, Guatemala, Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico and Chile.

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Ironworkers

Ring Of Fire

Mushkeg

It was a woman

Contact Us

103 Villeneuve St. West Montréal, Qc. H2T 2R6

 

mushkeg@videotron.ca

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